The status of the 2020 college football season remains a mystery, but there will be new rules if and when it gets going. The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced several minor rule changes on Tuesday, including new rules on targeting ejections and instant replay. The rules were first approved by the rules committee in late February.
Players who are flagged for targeting will be allowed to stay on the sideline with the rest of their teammates. They were forced to leave the field under the previous rule, which went into effect in 2013. That rule resulted in games being slowed down which gave fans the chance to voice their displeasure. Other aspects of the rule, including replay having to confirm all aspects of targeting whether it’s called on the field or not, remain the same.
Speaking of replay, those prolonged reviews are disappearing, too. Well, sort of. The Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a guideline that would limit instant replay reviews to two minutes. Replays that occur at the end of games or are complicated won’t be subject to a time-limit guideline, but should be completed “as efficiently as possible.” In addition to the time limit, there is a new clock rule for the end of the first half or game. If a play results in the end of the half or game but replay confirms there should be time left on the clock and that the subsequent play should start on the referee’s signal after review, there must be at least three seconds remaining. If less than three seconds remain, the half will be declared over.
The panel also approved motions to limit players wearing the same number to two. Two make up for that limit, No. 0 will be a legal jersey number. It will still be a penalty if players with the same number are on the field simultaneously.
Those pregame dust-ups at midfield during warmups might not be as common as in the past. Officials will now have jurisdiction of the field 90 minutes prior to kickoff instead of 60 minutes.